Tuesday, 11 November 2014 09:26

Systemd again? Debian drops kFreeBSD as official architecture

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The Debian GNU/Linux project has decided not to support its GNU/kFreeBSD distribution as an official release for the forthcoming version 8.0 which is better known as Jessie.

GNU/kFreeBSD is one of the numerous Debian architectures that combines the userland of GNU/Linux with a FreeBSD kernel. Debian is the only GNU/Linux distribution that releases with anything other than a Linux kernel.

In a post to the release team, Debian developer Jonathan Wiltshire wrote: "We discussed kfreebsd at length, but are not satisfied that a release with Jessie will be of sufficient quality. We are dropping it as an official release architecture, though we do hope that the porters will be able to make a simultaneous unofficial release."

One of the reasons for this decision - though unstated by Wiltshire - could be systemd, the new init system that will be the default for the Jessie release. It cannot be used with any kernel other than Linux.

The release team met following the Debian freeze on November 5 in preparation for the release of Jessie. A freeze means is that no new packages will go into the testing stream which will be subject to bug testing and fixing so that Jessie, the next stable release, can emerge in the course of the next few months. The freeze policy - as always a careful and elaborate document - is here.

In other items of interest from the meeting, the team decided that the next two releases of Debian after Jessie would be called Stretch and Buster. All Debian releases are named after characters from the film Toy Story.

Regarding two other architectures, arm64 and ppc64el, Wiltshire had this to say: "arm64 and ppc64el have made enough progress to be release architectures for Jessie. Britney no longer has special handling for these two. Therefore, FTBFS regressions for arm64 and ppc64el are now release critical (but non-regressions are not)."

Debian supports more architectures than any other GNU/Linux distribution.

Image courtesy FreeBSD Mexico.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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